Temples stand as reminders of Christ and His sacrifice

Teach about Christ

Inspire members to come

unto Him

Remind of the grace,

goodness of Father

Temples are of great value "because they help us express our core theology - that of coming to Christ," said Elder David E. Sorensen Sunday morning.

As Church membership has grown around the world, so has the need for temples, said Elder Sorensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, noting there are 94 temples currently operating, under construction or being prepared for groundbreaking.

"As we see the increased commitment President [Gordon B.] Hinckley and others have made to building new temples, we might pause and ask ourselves why temples are of such importance," he said.

Elder Sorensen explained that temples can inspire members to come unto Christ in at least two ways:

"First, they symbolically and literally remind us and teach us about Christ and His Father. We know that Christ spent key parts of His ministry at the temple in Jerusalem, and drew frequently on temple symbolism in His teachings, often comparing Himself to symbols used in the temple such as light and water," he said.

Temple worship today, added Elder Sorensen, includes many symbolic references to Christ, from the spires on the outside that point our mind heavenward, to the white clothing worn inside.

"Temples stand as a constant physical reminder of the grace and goodness of the Father," he said. "This helps communities of Saints strengthen themselves."

Elder Sorenson noted that temples have always symbolized being in the presence of the Lord. "There is a closeness to God that comes through consistent worship in the house of the Lord," he said. "We can come to know Him and feel welcome, at home in His house."

With temples in so many places around the world, more Church members will have them nearby as reminders of Christ and His sacrifice, said Elder Sorenson. "The simple presence of a temple should serve as a reminder of covenants we have made, the need for integrity and the fact that God is never far away."

Elder Sorensen said beyond their physical presence and outward symbolism, temples can inspire Church members to come unto Christ in a second way - "by the ordinances we perform in them."

"All temple ordinances are centered in Jesus Christ and His divine mission, and they are performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood," he said. "Each ordinance is calculated to reveal to us something about Christ and our relationship to God."

While some ordinances in the temple seem easy to understand, such as eternal marriage, other ordinances require careful and lengthy spiritual preparation before their full impact becomes clear, explained Elder Sorensen.

"As the spirit of God helps us understand and know His plan for us, we will find not only greater knowledge but also a greater measure of peace and compassion."

Elder Sorensen said temple ordinances also provide an opportunity to strengthen families. "Strength can be provided through performing ordinanances vicariously for our ancestors, thus forming a `welding link' between parents and children."

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